Getting the word out on your business and getting attention? That’s just half the battle. The next step is getting your product or service in the hands of paying customers.
Distribution may feel tactical, but it provides the opportunity for you to differentiate your product or service and reinforce your business’s personality. Sales, on the other hand, is critical because it generates the revenue that will keep your business afloat.
All the marketing strategies in the world will be ineffective if they don’t result in sales. Without sales, you cannot pay for overhead and operating expenses. No sales means no profits.
Sales methods vary almost as widely as the products or services being sold. What works for you might not work for your competitor. Whatever your sales methods, the sales process will be nearly the same.
Studies show that when you are talking with someone, if you do more than 50% of the listening, the other person will like you. This is one of the foundational pieces of relationship building, and the most important aspect of selling – selling is a primarily a process of building relationships.
We will be learning about stages in the selling process. Please keep in mind that all these techniques are embedded in the framework of building relationships.
You will act as a consultant, partner, and problem-solver for your customers. The goal is to build a long term relationship with clients. Looking at your customers with a long-term view allows you to professionally provide information that will help them make intelligent choices. Relationship selling leads to customer loyalty.
Selling Versus Marketing
Marketing is defined as:
“The process of planning and executing the conception, pricing, promotion, and distribution of ideas , goods, and services to create exchanges that satisfy individual and organizational objectives.”
(Source: The American Marketing Association)
Selling is one of four promotional alternatives (along with advertising, sales promotion, and publicity), and is therefore just one aspect of the marketing process.
Selling is most effective when preceded by other marketing functions, such as
- needs assessment,
- marketing research,
- product development,
- and distribution.